© Guardian photo by Steve Sharratt
Riverhouse Inn owner Robert Jay, left, entertained hundreds of guests at the official opening of his new four-storey Montague hotel Thursday and is joined by town administrator Andy Daggett.
New four-storey hotel opens in Montague
MONTAGUE — Robert Jay not only opened the tallest building in the town here Thursday, but helped ignite a flood of community pride.
It was the official opening of the new 30-room Riverhouse Inn on the banks of the Montague River and the whole town turned out in droves to celebrate the long-awaited day.
“It’s been a long road but I chose this day to open because it is my late father’s birthday,’’ said Jay to packed crowd. “He was my mentor and always encouraged us to do what we could.”
Jay and his wife Sue Anne have operated Lane’s Cottages for the past 13 years and witnessed the number of tourists and visitors he had to turn away here and direct elsewhere in the region.
That convinced him three years ago to proceed with the design and construction of the new four-storey hotel that has a commanding view of the town marina and can be seen from almost every access to the municipality.
Jay handed out praises to family, friends, supporters, advisors and even critics on his journey to build facility.
“It was good to hear all sides as I went through this project,’’ he said smiling.
Hundreds and hundreds of people, even from Stratford and Charlottetown, flocked to the new hotel for the official opening and public tour until 8 p.m. Thursday evening.
“It’s the jewel of Kings County and we are all very proud of this,’’ said P.E.I. Innovation Minister Al Roach, who lives just down the lane. “This is a beautiful place ... second to none on the Island.”
Jay spared no expense on the well-appointed facility and is confident the future looks bright.
“It’s a tremendous asset for our tourism product and for the whole province,’’ said Tourism Minister Robert Henderson, who was on hand for the opening.
Roach said the inn has already created jobs and adds a new destination to eastern P.E.I.’s tourism market.
“Montague has a distinctive and beautiful waterfront, and this new hotel will allow more people to enjoy the scenery and personality of our town,” he told the official opening which was held in the 80-seat multi-media theatre complex. “With this facility in place in time for the 2014 tourism season, I am confident this hotel will help introduce Montague to a lot of people.”
The inn boasts reception areas and a large banquet room and already has nabbed several bookings and conference events for the spring.
Mayor Richard Collins said Jay’s vision now open for business is a fantastic contribution to the town and eastern P.E.I.
The inn was financed by several private investors and Finance P.E.I. is supporting this $3.1 million project with a loan of $2.4 million and an $80,000 investment under the Equity Investors Incentive Program.